Classical Best Versions

What Is The Very Best Version?

In a catalogue that lists over 200 recordings of Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons", and even 60 versions of Orff's "Carmina Burana", which is the very best?

With the help of Gramophone, Penguin Stereo Guide, BBC Music, and our own ears, we have put together the definitive guide to the popular classics.

Here are a selection of recommended recordings that should find a place in everyone's collection.

Displaying items 101 to 120 of 224

Per Page: 10 20 40
Sort
Per Page
Bach: Musical Offering (Musikalisches Opfer) BWV1079 cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
J. S. BACH
Bach: Musical Offering (Musikalisches Opfer) BWV1079
Le Concert des Nations, Jordi Savall
[ Alia Vox / CD - released 30/Dec/2005 ]
There is an amazing separation of the instruments, even at high volumes, and they all fit together perfectly, with flawless balance...(this) I feel is the finest recording of this work I have ever heard." Kirk McElhearn (http://www.bach-cantatas.com
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 'Eroica' / Coriolan Overture, Op. 62 cover
add to cart $40.00 Low Stock
LUDWIG van BEETHOVEN
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 'Eroica' / Coriolan Overture, Op. 62
Le Concert des Nations, Jordi Savall
[ Alia Vox SACD / Hybrid SACD - released 25/May/2016 ]
"the end-result has been amongst the most impressive demonstrations of believable surround-sound I have heard." Recording of the Month MusicWeb (May 2016)
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Grieg: Lyric Pieces cover
add to cart $20.00 In Stock
EDWARD GRIEG
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Grieg: Lyric Pieces
Leif Ove Andsnes (piano)
[ EMI / Warner Classics / CD - released 3/Mar/2002 ]
GRAMOPHONE AWARD WINNER 2002 - Instrumental
Piano Sonatas Nos 24, 30, 32, 33 & 34 cover
add to cart $26.00 Out of Stock
6+ weeks
HAYDN
Piano Sonatas Nos 24, 30, 32, 33 & 34
Leif Ove Andsnes (piano)
[ EMI Music / CD - released 11/Jan/2002 ]
Rosette (Highest Rating) Penguin Stereo Guide
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Grieg/Schumann: Piano Concertos cover
add to cart $25.00 Low Stock
EDWARD GRIEG / ROBERT SCHUMANN
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Grieg/Schumann: Piano Concertos
Leif Ove Andsnes (piano) / Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Mariss Jansons
[ EMI Classics / CD - released 5/Oct/2003 ]
GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE AWARD WINNER 2004: CONCERTO RECORDING "Though the Schumann concerto does pop up on programmes relatively frequently, it's remarkable how rarely the Grieg appears on concert programmes that don't fall into the classical pops event....
Kullervo Symphony Op 7 cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
Tchaikovsky & Sibelius: Violin Concertos cover
add to cart $38.00 Low Stock
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOSVKY / JEAN SIBELIUS
Tchaikovsky & Sibelius: Violin Concertos
Lisa Batiashvili (violin) / Staatskapelle Dresden, Daniel Barenboim
[ Deutsche Grammophon / CD - released 15/Aug/2017 ]
"Every familiar phrase somehow manages to sound both authoritative and newly discovered...a delight from start to finish." Gramophone Magazine Disc of the Month - January 2017
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade / Capriccio espagnol cover
add to cart $22.00 In Stock
NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade / Capriccio espagnol
London Symphony Orchestra, Igor Markevitch, with Erich Gruenberg, solo violin (Scheherazade)
[ Decca Australian Eloquence / CD - released 14/Jun/2019 ]
"This is, quite simply, one of the best-played and recorded accounts of Scheherazade ever made, right from the opening moment when the LSO brass uncompromisingly blast out Sultan Schahriar's ominously threatening theme" MusicWeb
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Dvorak: Symphonies Nos 1-9 / Overtures / Scherzo Capriccioso cover
add to cart $85.00 Low Stock
ANTONIN DVORAK
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Dvorak: Symphonies Nos 1-9 / Overtures / Scherzo Capriccioso
London Symphony Orchestra, Istvan Kertesz
[ Decca Collector's Edition / 6 CD Box Set - released 1/Jan/2002 ]
"The CD transfers are of Decca's best quality, full-bodied and vivid...his readings give us fresh insights into these often inspired works...a magnificent memorial to a conductor who died sadly young" - Rosette (Highest Award). Penguin Stereo Guide
Symphony No 2 'London' [Original Version] (with Butterworth - Banks of Green Willow) cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
Symphony No 2 'London' [Original Version] (with Butterworth - Banks of Green Willow)
London Symphony Orchestra / Richard Hickox
[ Chandos SACD / Hybrid SACD - released 20/Mar/2003 ]
'Hickox and the LSO respond with an unquenchable spirit, generous flexibility and tender affection that suit VW's admirably ambitious inspiration to a T, and Chandos' sound is big and bold to match. Quite simply, an essential purchase for anyone...
Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet (Complete ballet recorded November 2008) cover
add to cart $35.00 In Stock
SERGEI PROKOFIEV
Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet (Complete ballet recorded November 2008)
London Symphony Orchestra, Valery Gergiev
[ LSO Live SACD / 2 SACD - released 20/Jan/2010 ]
DISC OF THE YEAR 2011 (BBC Music) - "Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet warrants a hi-res recording of the complete score since it is regarded by many as the greatest ballet score ever composed. The live recording is sensational in its realism." (AudAud...
Lieder (Recorded live at Wigmore Hall, 30 November 1998) cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
6+ weeks
BRAHMS / HANDEL / LIEBERSON / MAHLER
Lieder (Recorded live at Wigmore Hall, 30 November 1998)
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (mezzo-soprano) Roger Vignoles (piano)
[ Wigmore Hall Live / CD - released 21/Feb/2007 ]
Taped live at a Wigmore Hall recital in 1998 this recording has now come to light following Hunt Lieberson's tragically early death in 2006. Highly recommended by Marbecks staff - a definite disc of the year.
Debussy: Songs 4 cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
CLAUDE DEBUSSY
Debussy: Songs 4
Lucy Crowe (soprano), Malcolm Martineau (piano) with Jennifer France (soprano) & Christopher Maltman (baritone)
[ Hyperion / CD - released 2/Mar/2018 ]
"In wonderful voice throughout, Crowe very much makes this repertory her own. Ascents into the stratospheres are all beautifully and securely accomplished, and those long melismas are tautly controlled and always expressive, never vacuous" Gramophone
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Dvorak/Martinu/Janacek: Love Songs cover
add to cart $33.00 In Stock
Puccini: Tosca (Complete Opera recorded in 1953) cover
add to cart $25.00 Low Stock
GIACOMO PUCCINI
Puccini: Tosca (Complete Opera recorded in 1953)
Maria Callas, Giuseppe di Stefano, Tito Gobbi / Coro e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala, Milano. Victor de Sabata
[ Warner Classics Maria Callas Remastered / 2 CD - released 20/Oct/2014 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1851-1900) - 50 GREATEST RECORDINGS OF ALL TIME (No 5) - BBC MUSIC
Puccini: Tosca (Complete Opera) (Recorded 1953) cover
add to cart $20.00 Low Stock
GIACOMO PUCCINI
Puccini: Tosca (Complete Opera) (Recorded 1953)
Maria Callas, Giuseppe di Stefano, Tito Gobbi / Teatro alla Scala, de Sabata
[ EMI Historical / 2 CD - released 20/Nov/2003 ]
"There has never been a finer recorded performance of Tosca than Callas's first, with Victor de Sabata conducting and Tito Gobbi as Scarpia." -Rosette Penguin Stereo Guide
Requiem (with the 6 Biblical Songs) cover
add to cart $27.00 Out of Stock
DVORAK
Requiem (with the 6 Biblical Songs)
Maria Stader / Siegline Wagner / Czech Philharmonic / Karel Ancerl
[ Deutsche Grammophon / 2 CD - released 26/Mar/2000 ]
"This superb DG set from 1959 brings an inspired performance of a work that can sound relatively conventional but which here emerges with fiery intensity, helped by a recording made in appropriately spacious acoustic that gives an illusion of an...
Franck: Organ Works cover
add to cart $20.00 Out of Stock
CESAR FRANCK
Franck: Organ Works
Marie-Claire Alain (organ)
[ Erato Apex / 2 CD ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1801-1850) -
Haydn: The Seasons (Complete oratorio) cover
add to cart $50.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
JOSEF HAYDN
Haydn: The Seasons (Complete oratorio)
Marlis Petersen (soprano), Werner Gura (tenor), Dietrich Henschel (baritone), RIAS-Kammerchor, Freiburger Barockorchester, Rene Jacobs
[ Harmonia Mundi Haydn Edition / 2 CD - released 1/Feb/2009 ]
"The thrilling sound of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and Berlin's crack RIAS Chamber Choir make for a life-enhancing experience. The three soloists are superb; the whole set makes you wonder anew at the 67-year-old composer's creativity and...
Saint-Saëns: Organ Symphony / Carnival of the Animals cover
add to cart $25.00 In Stock
CAMILLE SAINT-SAENS
Saint-Saëns: Organ Symphony / Carnival of the Animals
Martha Argerich (piano) Antonio Pappano (piano) Daniele Rossi (organ) / Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
[ Warner Classics / CD - released 25/Sep/2017 ]
Martha Argerich and Antonio Pappano (as pianist rather than conductor) lead the fun in Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals with Members of the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.